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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 05 May 2009 (Tuesday) 11:06
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Wanting the "perfect" fast 50 mm lens

 
n1as
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May 05, 2009 11:06 |  #1

Well, I suppose any of them would be considered "good" but I'm looking for something better. I want a 50mm lens that:

  • Focuses quickly and accurately.
  • Is pretty fast (f/2 or faster).
  • Is sharp wide open.
  • Is affordable ($800 or less)
Imagine the 135L or the 200 f/2.8L being scaled down to a 50 f2 L and sold for $850. Imagine a 50mm lens that focuses NOW and is right on. Imagine a 50mm lens that is truly sharp wide open.

Some lenses come close, but there isn't one that meets this criteria. Too bad

- Keith
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Dpsteak
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May 05, 2009 11:18 |  #2

When you say "sharp truly wide open", what are you comparing it to? If you only want it to be as fast as f2, then the 50L and 50 1.4 are sharp at f2.


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yogibear
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May 05, 2009 11:19 |  #3

I just purchased a Sigma 50/1.4. Seems to match your wish list. Only issue was the notorious focusing issues but that was easily taken care of with the 5dii's microadjust feature. The picture quality exceeds that of my Canon 24-105. There are some thread that actually compared it favorably with the Canon 50/1.2L. While I have not compared the two, images taken with the Sigma compares quite favorably to my Canon L lenses.




  
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RyanB
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May 05, 2009 11:23 |  #4

If you really want a lens that fits under all those categories (except the first), you might want to think about older MF lenses.

The Canon 1.4 and 1.2 L are pretty damn good for AF 50mm lenses, but there are a host of MF lenses that smoke them on all accounts and do so for less money, even with an adapter. Zeiss/Minolta/Olympus/​etc all make great 50mm primes that can be adapted to EF. I was a little hesitant about this myself but I have a Contax Planar 100mm f/2 on the way that is by all accounts the superior to the 135L and 85L. I had to give up AF, but I got it for less than half the price of the 85.


5d Mk II + Meike Grip l Canon 24-105mm f4L l Canon 85mm f1.8 l Contax Carl Zeiss 100mm f2 Planar T* l Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG |Sennheiser MKE-300 Microphone l Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f2 ZE l
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wimg
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May 05, 2009 11:23 |  #5

yogibear wrote in post #7862482 (external link)
I just purchased a Sigma 50/1.4. Seems to match your wish list. Only issue was the notorious focusing issues but that was easily taken care of with the 5dii's microadjust feature. The picture quality exceeds that of my Canon 24-105. There are some thread that actually compared it favorably with the Canon 50/1.2L. While I have not compared the two, images taken with the Sigma compares quite favorably to my Canon L lenses.

Yep, IME, the IQ of the Sigma is very good, and IMO it is the second best AF 50 for Canon EOS, number 1 being the 50L :D.

In both cases you just have to make sure you have a good one or get it calibrated properly. But then, that is true for any faster than F/1.7 50 mm it seems.

Kind regards, Wim


EOS R & EOS 5 (analog) with a gaggle of primes & 3 zooms, OM-D E-M1 Mk II & Pen-F with 10 primes, 6 zooms, 3 Metabones adapters/speedboosters​, and an accessory plague

  
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brianch
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May 05, 2009 11:28 |  #6

move to an 85mm. thats what I did.


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gasrocks
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May 05, 2009 11:37 |  #7

Rokkor 58/1.2 converted to EF mount?


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n1as
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May 05, 2009 12:12 |  #8

Let me clarify. I shoot sports so when I say I want a lens that focuses quickly and accurately, I'm thinking 85 f/1.8 or 135L performance. My Canon 50 f/1.4 isn't quite there and from what I hear no 50 is going to be any better. Yes, there is a lot of sports that can be shot with a 50!

With "truly sharp wide open", it frustrates me to pay f/1.4 prices but have a lens that isn't sharp until I stop it down to f/2. My 135L is sharp wide open. So was my 70-200 f/4. My 60 f/2.8 macro was sharp wide open so I know it can be done. If it isn't sharp until f/2, then make it an f/2 lens and let me benefit from the smaller glass, reduced weight and cost.


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wimg
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May 05, 2009 12:21 |  #9

n1as wrote in post #7862822 (external link)
Let me clarify. I shoot sports so when I say I want a lens that focuses quickly and accurately, I'm thinking 85 f/1.8 or 135L performance. My Canon 50 f/1.4 isn't quite there and from what I hear no 50 is going to be any better. Yes, there is a lot of sports that can be shot with a 50!

With "truly sharp wide open", it frustrates me to pay f/1.4 prices but have a lens that isn't sharp until I stop it down to f/2. My 135L is sharp wide open. So was my 70-200 f/4. My 60 f/2.8 macro was sharp wide open so I know it can be done. If it isn't sharp until f/2, then make it an f/2 lens and let me benefit from the smaller glass, reduced weight and cost.

Well, only 1 option: 50L. It is more expensive, but has USM, and seems fast enough, for me anyway. It is good at F/1.2 already.

Kind regards, Wim


EOS R & EOS 5 (analog) with a gaggle of primes & 3 zooms, OM-D E-M1 Mk II & Pen-F with 10 primes, 6 zooms, 3 Metabones adapters/speedboosters​, and an accessory plague

  
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Shuko
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May 05, 2009 12:24 |  #10

Sorry, but you are asking for something that does not exist for EF-mount. Yes, I know it sucks, I'd like one as well.


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Rodinal
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May 05, 2009 12:25 |  #11
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n1as wrote in post #7862407 (external link)
Well, I suppose any of them would be considered "good" but I'm looking for something better. I want a 50mm lens that:
  • Focuses quickly and accurately.
  • Is pretty fast (f/2 or faster).
  • Is sharp wide open.
  • Is affordable ($800 or less)

OK.
So if f/2 can obviously satisfy you, then get a 50/1.4... which is probably good enough wide-open but not super-sharp and always use it at 2.0. What's the problem? You don't care (unlike you're saying) if the lens is sharp wide-open. You actually care for it to be sharp at the f/-stop you need. And f/2 seems to be it.

Well, I really doubt that a 50/1.4 used at 2.0 will deceit you.


1D Mark II • 16-35/2.8L mk I • 24-70L • 70-200/2.8L IS • 50/1.8 • 24-85 • 400/5.6L • 430EX

  
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snails
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May 05, 2009 12:33 |  #12

n1as wrote in post #7862822 (external link)
Let me clarify. I shoot sports so when I say I want a lens that focuses quickly and accurately, I'm thinking 85 f/1.8 or 135L performance. My Canon 50 f/1.4 isn't quite there and from what I hear no 50 is going to be any better. Yes, there is a lot of sports that can be shot with a 50!

With "truly sharp wide open", it frustrates me to pay f/1.4 prices but have a lens that isn't sharp until I stop it down to f/2. My 135L is sharp wide open. So was my 70-200 f/4. My 60 f/2.8 macro was sharp wide open so I know it can be done. If it isn't sharp until f/2, then make it an f/2 lens and let me benefit from the smaller glass, reduced weight and cost.

Everything you've listed here as "sharp wide open" is f/2 or slower. With DOF as thin as it gets at f/1.8 and faster any slight miscalibration, misfocus, and sometimes forward/backward camera movement is going to effect how sharp your images are. They are also mroe challenging to design. Physics is against you.

As for fast focusing, there's a DOF issue again (amongst other things). Small DOFs require more accuracy / have less tollerance to focus. This means that the AF must work more slowly to get a good image so it dosn't blow past the focus point in each direction.

Your best bet may be to back up and use an 85 if that's possible.




  
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alt4852
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May 05, 2009 13:16 as a reply to  @ snails's post |  #13

i'd have to agree and say that there's very little that you can do in terms of sports that requires a 50mm and simply can't be done with an 85mm. if you need the extra width, you could always save up an extra month and drop money on a 35L or something. it has a fast aperture, quick AF, and is wickedly sharp at f/2. otherwise, i think the 85mm f/1.8 is your best bet.

while i had it, my 50mm f/1.4 wasn't lightning quick to focus, but it wasn't a slouch either. at f/2 it was tack sharp, the lens was very light, and it's very affordable. what major fault do you find with the 50mm f/1.4? the only flaw that i found was it's build, and softness wide open but at f/2 it was very sharp.


5D4 | Z21 | 35L2 | 50L | 85L2 | 135L

  
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[Hyuni]
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May 05, 2009 13:48 |  #14

Sigma 50 1.4
I use mine wide open 95% of the time. The remaining 5% is when I don't want a shallow DoF.
The siggy is gives you amazing IQ. For $450ish, you really can't go wrong.
People get put off by sigma despite all the praise it gets from actual users because it isn't a Canon brand, doesn't have a red ring, and has FF/BF issues. Honestly, I think the focusing issues are blown out of proportion. Even if it has an issue, 1 or 2 weeks for calibration should fix the issue no problem and then you get a $450 lens that performs or at least comes VERY close to the $1,200 50L.


6D Rokinon 14 f/2.8 l EF 35 ƒ1.4L l EF 135 ƒ2.0L l EF 70-200 ƒ2.8L IS II l YN460 l 580EX II l Flick'd (external link)

  
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wem
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May 05, 2009 14:37 |  #15

I am waiting for the Makro Planar 2/50 by Zeiss. No AF, maximum aperture of 2.0. But just stunning IQ it seems. The ZF version at least. :-)


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Wanting the "perfect" fast 50 mm lens
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